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Strengthening marine and coastal conservation in Central Africa

ICON/BTN/arrow/2/arrow-down Created with Sketch. Strengthening marine and coastal conservation in Central Africa

The geographical area concerned by the project is Central Africa, more precisely the six countries with a frontage on the Atlantic: Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea (including the island of Bioko), Sao-Tomé-Et-Principe and Cameroon. The coastal areas of these 6 countries support spawning of the following five species of sea turtles: the leatherback turtle, (Dermochelys coriacea, VU), the olive ridley turtle, (Lepidochelys olivacea, VU), the green turtle, (Chelonia mydas, EN), the turtle hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata, CR) and loggerhead turtle (Caretta carretta, VU).

 

The coasts of Central Africa are sites of global importance for marine turtles. The beaches stretching from southern Gabon to northern Republic of Congo concentrate the largest number of leatherback turtle spawning in the world. The main threats to marine turtles in Central Africa are the poaching of laying females and the collection of nests, accidental captures by artisanal and industrial fisheries, degradation of coastal habitat through urbanization and exploitation. resources, pollution and the effects of climate change (rising ocean levels and coastal erosion).

 

Since its creation in 2012, and thanks to the support of the PPI (4.3), Rastoma has supported African civil society organizations and people involved in the conservation of marine turtles in Central Africa. Rastoma acts to maintain and strengthen over the long term populations of marine turtles in their natural habitats in Central Africa. The network now benefits from a strong presence and good regional representation since it now brings together 9 NGOs and 25 individual members from the six countries of the sub-region facing the Atlantic. Over the past two years, the network has grown and structured, notably with the recruitment of a project coordinator and the establishment of a regional office in Cameroon.

 

Thanks to training and consultations organized by Rastoma, members have strengthened their capacities and developed a strong team spirit. The general objective of this project is to continue the dynamics initiated and to develop synergies between the members of the network and to strengthen their capacities, their influence and their impact in order to achieve a sustainable conservation of sea turtles and their habitats in Africa. Central.

 

The 4 specific objectives are to promote synergies between governmental and non-governmental actors at the national and regional level, to support the search for funding by capacity building, collaboration, tools and improvement of the visibility of NGOs. , strengthen the involvement of coastal communities in conservation projects in Central Africa and harmonize the strategy for acquiring data on marine turtles across Central Africa and cooperate more closely with the SWOT (State of the World’s Sea Turtle).